Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Another Day, Another Deluge

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NOTEBOOK; Another Day, Another Deluge

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Smits, The Times-Union

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If it's Thursday, grab your umbrella.

For the ninth time in this sopping wet PGA Tour season, a tournament has been affected by the wrath of nature. A strong line of thunderstorms beginning at 6:50 a.m. dumped 1.26 inches of rain on the course and delayed the start of the first round of the Masters by more than five hours, the fourth disruption in a row to a tournament schedule.

When the tournament began at 1:30 p.m., the field was started at Nos. 1 and 10, the first time since 2003 that the Masters used a two-tee start, and only the second time since 1967. The round was suspended at 7:35 p.m. because of darkness.

After delays because of rain, fog and high winds on the Tour's West Coast Swing, the "Southern Swing" has had rain delays at the Bay Hill Invitational, The Players Championship, the BellSouth Classic and now, the Masters.

The Players and BellSouth had Monday finishes, but since only 93 players started in the Masters, and daylight savings time kicked in last week, there shouldn't much trouble finishing by Sunday evening -- provided there is no more rain. There could be more showers today, but the weekend outlook is more promising.

This is the fourth year in a row and the seventh time in eight years that the Masters has had a delayed round and a suspension of play. The tournament was able to finish on Sunday every time.

The last Monday finish at Augusta was in 1983, when Seve Ballesteros won.

SOAKING UP THE WATER

It's not just enough that the Augusta National Golf Club playing areas have been constructed to drain well. The club also relies on a system called "SubAir."

SubAir is an underground system where air is used to suck the moisture out of the ground. The first was constructed at the 13th green in the mid-1990s, and are now located under every green. …

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